Polly Fitzgerald is the new director at B.A.B.E.S. of New London. A short term, no cost, respite facility, B.A.B.E.S. provides stress alleviation for young parents who face uncertainty that may impact the stability of their family.
Fitzgerald, who has a four-year record of success with preschool operations at Zion Christian Preschool in Readfield, and nine years in New London, is happy to embrace the mission at B.A.B.E.S. Programs are provided regardless of financial status or ethnicity that encourage self-respect, self-reliance and self control. Fitzgerald, who has a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Psychology and a minor in Sociology, is up for the challenge.
“We’ve had a very busy summer here and I saw first hand the need for this program in our community,” explained Fitzgerald. “We’ll have many children entering school now, but we’ll have plenty of room for parents who still need us for their young ones and as an after school alternative.” B.A.B.E.S. accepts children from newborn to the age of 12 at their facility.
B.A.B.E.S. programs enhance the lives of children and their parents through stress alleviation, redirection and support. These endeavors prevent circumstances that can negatively impact the development of children and can assist in breaking negative family cycles.
“We can give you the time to take a breather, rest and relax, clear your mind, and renew your thoughts,” said Fitzgerald. Once a family is registered with B.A.B.E.S. they can use the program one day a week.
Fitzgerald has designated time for art projects, outside recreation, quiet time and reading books, snack, and free play. “I like to keep a schedule going. The day moves by when minds are engaged. Children like the structure.”
“We’re going to be offering play groups here soon, too,” said Fitzgerald with her wide, easy-going grin. “This provides parents with a way to meet others.”
Volunteers needed and appreciated
A volunteer since June, Paulina Krolow is a new staff member and a sign language interpreter with a degree from Northern Technical College in Wausau. She is looking for volunteers to help out at the facility from 4 to 8 p.m., four nights a week. Fitzgerald welcomes anyone who would come from noon to 4 p.m.
“I am hoping some teens who want to make a difference will step forward and lend a hand here,” said Fitzgerald. “We have more to do than just babysit.”
As an example of volunteerism, a parent who uses the facility is busy creating a reference library for young parents to provide parenting books. Anyone who has parenting books they want to donate are encouraged to drop them off. “She also hopes to be offering infant and child CPR at our facility soon,” added Fitzgerald.
Volunteers come for an hour at a time, or as long as four hours at a time and are also needed for light housekeeping duties and lawn care around the building. CALL B.A.B.E.S. at 920-982-9995. Someone is available to assist you Monday – Thursday from Noon – 8 p.m. B.A.B.E.S. is located at 102 Northridge Drive, off North Shawano Street.
Annual banquet sponsorship opportunities are available by calling Kari Ort-Bunting at 920-982-3858 or Carrie Katerzynske at 920-850-5623.